Design

8 Things Somsack Sikhounmuong Swears By

8 Things Somsack Sikhounmuong Swears By

Somsack Sikhounmuong — formerly head of design for Madewell, then J.Crew — now runs the cool and casual brand Alex Mill. “Alex Mill was originally a menswear company, and we loved the way men dress in uniforms, waking up in the morning and not having to overthink things,” he says. “The women’s line was inspired by that.” Here, to kick off a new Cup of Jo column about people’s favorite things, are eight things he swears by…

8 Things Somsack Sikhounmuong Swears By

1. Snack food: Prince Street Pizza in New York City is fantastic. It’s like, have some pizza with your pepperoni.

2. Hotel: Bourg Tibourg is a tiny hotel in Paris. The jewelbox rooms are so small, you can barely open your suitcase. But the Marais location is perfect, the lobby is beautiful and the hotel even smells amazing.

3. Fall clothes: Our Alex Mill women’s corduroy blazer is slouchy and almost feels like a cardigan. And nothing says fall like corduroy.

4. Movie: I’ve always been a huge fan of Isaac Mizrahi; as a kid, I’d sketch over his sketches. When Unzipped came out, I had just graduated high school and was heading to New York to study fashion design — Isaac was starring in the movie and his costars were all my favorite models. It was the ultimate “me” movie. Back then, my sister worked at Blockbuster and she may have brought it home to stay at our house — a loving home that would really appreciate it.

8 Things Somsack Sikhounmuong Swears By

5. Book: Fallingwater Rising by Franklin Toker. I’m a Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic, and Falling Water in Pennsylvania is like the Mount Everest of his architectural creations. I love the color scheme of that living room — I used the same colors in my apartment. Even picking colors now for Alex Mill, I go back to those primary reds and yellows.

6. Fragrance: I love unisex fragrances and Helmut Lang is musky and very sexy.

7. Luggage: During my years of using only backpacks, I’d go on trips with friends and they’d be lightly rolling their suitcases while I was lugging all this stuff. Suddenly, I’m like, NO MORE. Rimowa suitcases are a life changer. I’ve been putting stickers all over mine, so I can recognize it — I get them from record shops or skate shops.

8. Bathroom product: The smell of Skin Trip is so great; I live for anything coconut — it’s my inner Thai. Plus, bar soap is always practical and classic.

Thank you, Somsack! (And please feel free to let us know any requests for people you’d like us to feature in this new column!)

P.S. How to hang family photos at home and what are your top three movies of all time?

(Somsack photo courtesy of Alex Mill. Graphic design by Erin Jang for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Jenny says...

    Blair Braverman! She’s a dogsledder and author (with a huge twitter following) and is so inspirational—she just did an interview with GQ and had such a badass response when it came to how she handles people asking how she feels as a woman doing “men’s work.” She’d be great!!

  2. Anne Knapp says...

    Feature Paulina Porizkova!

  3. Molly says...

    I love this kind of post!! I’m so excited you’ve started this series! And I think Jenny’s husband, Andy, would be great for this – I always enjoy their various recommendations & the random favorites mentioned on her blog:) xo

  4. Sarah says...

    Love this! Just wondering: Where are Alex Mill clothes are made? I would love to get a few pieces — they’re such great basics — but these days I’ve been buying primarily used pieces, so I try to make sure I know where/who is behind the new clothes I purchase.

    • Alexis says...

      Good question – would like to know, too!

  5. Kim says...

    Would love to see Emily Bazelon from the Slate Political Gabfest.

    • Jessica says...

      Me tooooooo! So much.

  6. Kate says...

    I went to Alex Mill’s site all excited to see a new to me clothing site – – and I exited it super quickly. I’m done with websites that only have super slim models – if you won’t put the clothes on a size 10-16 model, I am now assuming it’s because they don’t look good on anyone not a size 6 or smaller and you don’t actually want the business of average size Americans. /endrant

    • Grace says...

      Yup. If you can’t dress the majority of people, then you’re probably not very good at making clothes *shrug*

    • Allyson says...

      I’m with you! There are many amazing size inclusive brands that deserve love. Always bummed to discover a cool brand and find their sizing stops at an XL or US 12/14.

      Aside from this gripe, Somsack seems lovely and does have impeccable taste.

  7. claire says...

    Also Samantha Irby because she is hilarious! and wrote the funniest and best tuna casserole recipe.

    • JessicaD says...

      She is THE BEST! She also wrote the amazing Shrill episode centered around the swimming pool. She would be a great fit with CoJ.

  8. Claire says...

    Interesting feature! Re: future profiles – I read this blog because I like the content and think you all do a terrific job, andI trust you to pick interesting people to feature. I especially like when l learn about someone who was not previously on my radar. But since you asked- I like everyday people, smart people, funny people, and those who walk unique paths. Anne Lamott, Nadia Bolz- Weber. Jenny Lawson. Heather Armstrong. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Sarah Smarsh (writer/journalist- her podcast The Homecomers is terrific). Samin Nosrat (loved the prior profile, and she seems so interesting!). Michael Solomonov. Alexandra Stafford. Alison Roman. Naomi Shihab Nye, and any poets….also Jacqueline Woodson. Taffy Brodesser- Akner. Kim Foxx (Chicago prosecutor who put together the case against R. Kelly). Celebrities are fine, but whatever- that stuff is everywhere….except Chrissy Teigan- never too much of her, and she is funny. And I don’t care what people buy at the store so much as what uplifts them, and touches their hearts, and puts them right when they get sideways.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      all such great ideas, thank you!

  9. Michelle Jacques says...

    Could you interview the amazing and zany Lynda Barry? She’s just rightfully won a Mac Arthur Genius Grant, and is such an inspiration to me. Thanx

  10. Tati says...

    Such a fun new column — I‘d love to read about Olivia Rae James Suárez‘ favorite things. She is an absolutely amazing photographer. ✨

  11. AN says...

    Oh, also, Angie Cruz, author of “Dominicana”, and Brit Bennett, author of “The Mother’s”, please and thank you.

  12. Anne says...

    Stella Bugbee! From The Cut! Also I would love to see this from all of the various wonderful women of news… Nina Totenberg? Dahlia Lithwick?

    • Rachel says...

      Seconding them both!!!!

  13. India Noble says...

    Oh my gosh, where has Alex Mill been all my life?? I want everything!!! I’ll be broke once I’m done there haha

  14. Liv says...

    I do appreciate that you feature some lighter posts from time to time as well- there’s a lot of “heavy” out there to read these days. Would love to hear from Alex, as some others said! Also Hannah Henderson and Christy Dawn. Thank you!! ❤️

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i’m sure alex would be thrilled to share! he definitely has opinions :)

  15. Clare says...

    Sydney Leroux (please oh please), Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Emma Straub, Ayanna Pressley, Laverne Cox, Jennifer Gunter, Ali Wong,
    Ali Krieger and Ashlynn Harris, basically everyone at Cup of Jo, a doctor, a union organizer, a healthcare worker at the border, a local news reporter or photographer, etc.
    Also, as I try to scale back my consumerism in the face of global warming, I’d love to know more non-material things than material things. Favorite podcast? Favorite way to quickly de-stress? Best album to listen to on the way to work?
    xo

    • Clare says...

      Annnnd of course I just now saw Shannon’s wonderful suggestion below. :)

  16. Mia says...

    I love CoJ but find this post disappointing – it just seems so superficial. Maybe the inquiries could be more deeper than snacks and luggage?

    Also, I guess we’re not supposed to exclude anyone but do we really need to hear another guy talk about all the fancy things he likes?

  17. Laura says...

    A little bit of constructive criticism — this feels a bit too much like the ‘things i cant live without’ from Nymag.  If you’re going to do this column I would encourage you to choose really different people because if you’re pulling from the same pool of ‘cool’ new yorkers & internet crushes you’re going to get the same lists with the same items, shining a spotlight on  expensive luxury items.

    Not to knock Somsack (based off of the amount of Madewell & JCrew in my closet I clearly like what he does!) but this post didn’t feel very ‘Cup of Jo’.  What would make this more coj? Maybe more of the story behind the items, like how his sister ‘borrowed’ Unzipped for him <3.  I LOVE another reader's suggestion to include more intangibles & experiences and shifting the focus away from our endless consumerism.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, we will have lots of different people, i promise! and we will keep growing and forming this column as time goes by (like all our columns have grown/shifted as we keep working on them) and i hope you end up loving it! thank you, laura. xo

  18. AMK says...

    A vote for comedian / voice of Cruz Ramirez (Cars 3) Cristela Alonzo!!!

  19. Putting in another vote for polling your CoJ readers! While it can be fun to hear the favorites of very successful/rich people, I’m willing to bet the majority of your readers are … not on that level. It would be nice to learn what the favorites of your average Jane who can sometimes afford nice things and sometimes struggles, which feels way more helpful and inspiring and way more within reach.

  20. Lea says...

    Someone please interview Jia Tolentino!

  21. AMK says...

    Amazing! I’d love to have Neri Oxman featured here. Check out Netflix’s Abstract: The art of design. Neri runs MIT’ design lab. They call Neri a modern date Leonardo DaVinci

  22. This isn’t adding a lot to the broader convo but…… whadda babe ::heart eyes::

  23. Sarah says...

    Good idea! I would love to hear from average CoJ readers from all over.

    • Midge says...

      Second this!

  24. Cait says...

    Love the new column! I’m excited about how different the answers could be for different people.

  25. Angela says...

    Has Gemma been said?! Because GEMMA!! I love her!

    • dana says...

      Yes. I second this. I love that woman.

  26. Shannon says...

    I think this has potential to be a great new feature but it needs fine tuning.

    Is it 8 random favorite things each time (broad but interesting). Or will people stick to certain categories and then say what their favorite hotel/snack food etc is (more limiting but also closer to that great VF feature). Like are hotels one of his favorite things and then he highlights one?

    It would be good to press people to list a couple of intangibles (like wet kisses from babies) or an experience (epsom salt baths) or location (libraries), so that it’s not just shopping driven too. They could still link to something specific but would appeal to everyone.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for your note, shannon! we’ll be featuring all sorts of things, not just hotels, snacks, etc. those items were just his most passionate items, which we chatted about in our phone interview. i like the idea of intangibles, too. (wet baby kisses! swoon!)

    • Lauren says...

      Love the suggestion of intangibles and experiences! A wonderful way to step back and think about how our 8 favorite things might not actually be *things*

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we tried to do that a little bit here with books, a hotel, etc., but i hear you that we could get even more intangible — everyone has those smells, moments, songs, etc that are so meaningful!

    • Laura D. says...

      I’m putting in another vote to focus more on intangibles/things that don’t cost money. I think someone else mentioned asking questions like favorite podcast, favorite way to de-stress, etc.

      As for whom I’d like to see featured, here are some people I admire: Tig Notaro, Lisa Congdon, Ali Wong, Mary Miller, Leah Goren, Mari Andrew.

  27. Lauren says...

    Yay for this new feature! My requests are: Alex, Claire Mazur, Erica Cerulo, Kelsey Miller, Caroline, and you!

  28. Maddy says...

    I share his love for Unzipped! When it came out I was a serial-renter of it at Blockbuster. I even wrote a paper about it in film school. It is a beautiful, fabulous, funny peek into the life and process of a true artist. So I nominate Isaac Mizrahi for 8 Things!

  29. Suzanne says...

    I’m so excited for this new column!!! :)

    Would love to hear from Alison Roman, Roxane Gay, Aminatou Sou, Jenna Wortham – basically all the internet’s favorite ladies.

    • amk says...

      Ooh agreed!!

  30. Love this new column!!

  31. Dana says...

    I like this new column, and would be interested in hearing from readers! Maybe you could put out a survey and randomly select people to feature. Also, important to include diversity of all kinds.
    Thanks!

    • Joaquina says...

      Would be nice to read of what more working class people recommend. Just like NY Mag’s “what (rich person) can’t live without” feature, it feels out of touch. Also I find it funny when the person being profiled lists a product from their company and goes on about how they much they love it.

    • Kate says...

      Great suggestion. I’m also truly curious — what is it that makes a suitcase like the Rimowa worth $500? I’ve been an ebags girl for the past ~7 years and their site-branded bags are amazing. How could something 5x the price be that much better?

  32. Kate says...

    I was studying abroad in Paris and booked my parents a room at the Bourg Tibourg when they visited me in 2004. As a graduate student, I thought it was the coolest place I’ve ever seen (and still do!), but my parents audibly guffawed when we opened the door to the room. You can hardly walk around the beds and the walls are dark & moody, which constricts the space even more. They ultimately loved the experience, and, today, we like laughing about the boho-chic shoebox into which I shoved them for six glorious nights. I hope that I’ll be back in Paris someday soonish to stay there myself!

  33. kk says...

    The High Low ladies!

    Love this new column. Is there anything better than lists? Nope.

  34. Denise says...

    Brittany Howard – of Alabama Shakes. I’m deeply obsessed with her new solo album at the moment and would love a list of her favs.

    • Cassidy says...

      Thank you so much for this reminder! Picking it up on my way home today :)

  35. Samantha says...

    I’d love to hear from Claire Saffitz of Bon Appetit.

    • Emma says...

      Yes! Yes! I second this! I’d be up for a Beauty Uniform by her, too. She’s the greatest.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh love Claire from Bon Appetit!! Also ADORE Carla Lalli Music ( that’s her real name amazingly ). She has such a great sense of humor, so relaxed and confident in herself, and I think my favorite feature on Bon Appetit YouTube with her is with drag queen Miz Cracker. I nominate Carla and Miz Cracker!! So much style, so much joy.

  36. Sharon Ruyter says...

    Would love to see some of these black women featured!

    Elaine Welteroth
    Diedra Nelson (The Wing)
    Crissle West
    Franchesca Ramsey
    Francheska Medina (heyfranhey)
    Kimberly Rose Drew
    Freddie Harrel

    • mollcoll says...

      Yes on all of these – but especially Elaine. She is amazing :)

    • Joaquina says...

      Yes yes yes!!!!!

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh Francesca Ramsey!! Yes yes!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, sharon!

  37. Jen says...

    Love this column idea.! I always enjoy reading Celebrity Shopping on The Strategist.

  38. Robin says...

    Jenni Konner! I recently heard her on a podcast and she was opinionated in all the best ways.

  39. Tania says...

    Ooooh funsies. Reminds me of the Vanity Fair column I always loved. I second Alison Roman who besides creating the most delicious recipes just seems so cool. Also I really want one (all) of Alex Mill’s Expedition jumpsuits.

  40. Rachel Hauge says...

    It sounds like I’m in the minority, but I was disappointed to see this new feature. In my experience, COJ is uniquely impactful and resonant when talking about experiences: climate crisis, infertility, anxiety and yes, the personal beauty and home stuff is fun and great too! We spend so much time experiencing other people’s “exteriors”, that when COJ gives us a window into someone’s “interior” I find myself thinking about it long after I’ve closed the browser.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for this feedback! we like to do a mix on the site of all the topics we cover (style, design, food, travel, culture, parenting, relationships, etc). but we will definitely keep up the deeper, more serious/thoughtful pieces, as well for sure. i appreciate your note, rachel! xoxo

  41. Caitlin says...

    Oh I love this column idea! I’d love to see this from women inspiring me lately:
    Alison Roman
    Eva Chen
    Audrey Gelman
    Jessie Randall
    Sally Rooney
    Leandra Medine

  42. Christina says...

    Great graphics on this one!!!! Love this concept, and can’t wait to see more. It’s payday and I’m browsing around Alex Mill on the cusp of a season change…. yikes. Add! To! Cart!!!

    • Was just about to comment on the design. Really cool!

  43. -E says...

    This was way fun. Thanks for a fun, new addition.

  44. laura says...

    Do we care what boys think now? ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      When they are Somsack we do :)

    • Lindsey Crook says...

      LOL

  45. E says...

    Kate Arends (Wit & Delight) and your husband!

    • celeste says...

      I want to hear about Alex’s career beginnings. We know yours :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, i’m sure he’d love to share!

  46. Anna says...

    Can you invite Stella back for the column? I miss her! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we miss her too!

  47. agnes says...

    Nice new column and it’s nice to have a man hanging out with us!

  48. Rachel says...

    Seconding Lisa Congdon and adding the brilliant Amy Sherald. Both of them are just so cool.

    • Brooke says...

      I keep seconding people but oh my word YES to Lisa Congdon. Someone in their teens just posted that she’s a queer icon and I absolutely agree. Her style, her activism, her collections, her vibrant spirit.

  49. Sarah says...

    Please get Eva Chen, Elizabeth Holmes (SMT), and Luvvie Ajayi to do this!

    • Rachel says...

      Another vote for Elizabeth!

    • Meredith Taylor says...

      Elizabeth is the BEST!

    • Kelly P says...

      Yes! Elizabeth!

    • Sharon Ruyter says...

      Yes Luvvie Ajayi!!

    • Cait says...

      Yes to Luvvie. She is awesome. Her book should definitely be highlighted here as well, it’s called “I’m Judging You.”

    • mollcoll says...

      Eva Chen is one of my fave IG follows…so much variety in her posts and lots of wisdom. Great rec! I second (or third) Eva!

  50. Love that sticker/suitcase reminder hack. Need to add more to mine.

  51. Jen says...

    Living in NYC 10 years ago, there were so many times I walked into J.Crew and told my boyfriend I wished they would do a pop-up where they took their entire fall line for men and sized it for women! I wanted all the beautiful fall colors and fabrics in the men’s department for myself! Looking forward to following Somsack and Alex Mill.

    • Claire says...

      Men often have the best clothes don’t they? I often buy men’s shirts in thrift stores because the fabrics are so good. I also read recently somewhere that men’s shoes typically are made better, emphasizing quality materials and longevity over instant fashion.

  52. Kim says...

    Love a good meaty post where I click and linger on just about every link and it takes a long good time to get through.

  53. I love the idea of “waking up in the morning and not having to overthink things!” That’s a great guiding principle for women’s fashion.

  54. Rachel says...

    Please feature the poet Kate Baer and the wife-and-wife couple behind Ladyfingers Letterpress (who live in my little city, woot)!!

  55. Merritt says...

    Love the new column, it’s like Cup of Jo meets Off Duty from the WSJ. Can’t wait for more!

  56. Thomas says...

    Love this so much! Looking forward to this new series.

  57. Lucy says...

    Bourg Tibourg is amazing! We love to stay there when in Paris. It’s in the most romantic neighborhood.

    Excited for this new feature!!

  58. Katie says...

    Love this new column! I think it would be fun to hear from various museum professionals around NYC, say a curator from Cooper-Hewitt, an exhibit designer from MOMA, an educator from New York Historical Society. And I’d love to read your friend Gemma Burgess’ list – she’s great.

  59. Lesley says...

    I really like this feature – please continue!

  60. Meredith says...

    Amina or Ann from Call Your Girlfriend! Or Malcolm Gladwell?

  61. Lee Leroux says...

    Oh I love this :) future suggestions Kate Berry of Domino mag, Amanda Cutter Brooks , Lolita Jacobs , Jenna Lyons, Ulla Johnson , Courtney Adamo, Gabrielle Blair , Your chap Alex , your Mom.

  62. Kate says...

    This is like the section Vanity Fair used to run where they’d ask someone all their favorite things – scents, sheets, stationery, etc. – and I love it SO much! More of this all the time, please!

  63. Jo says...

    Your office mate, Oliver Jeffers!

    • neha says...

      Yes please!! Oliver Jeffers, and Debbie Millman, and Tavi Gevinson, and Lin Manuel Miranda, and Maria Papova!!

  64. Mouse says...

    Anton. I need Anton to make his list.

    • Emily B says...

      And toby! Maybe a combined list?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha thank you!

  65. A. S. says...

    Love this new column!

    But I’m sorry, who the heck pays $670 for a carry-on suitcase?? Unless it’s filled with gold or expensive skincare products…I don’t get it.

  66. Kara says...

    Some ideas: Alison Roman, Caroline Ventura, or even better Cup of Jo staff!

  67. Katherine says...

    What a great idea for a column! I found my husband a few Alex Mill shirts at thrift stores and they’re some of his favorites!

    Other interview suggestions: Lisa Congdon, LaTonya Yvette, Erin Boyle, Oliver Jeffers (since he works so near y’all!!!), Julia Rotham, Wendy Mac, Julia Turshen, Grace Bonney, Ashley Ford.

    • Molly says...

      Oh Ashley Ford, such an amazing writer here. Neat seeing that she’s doing amazing things with her own show coming out! Her Twitter feed brings so much goodness: she posted this incredibly poignant article the other day-
      https://jezebel.com/stories-about-my-brother-1835651181/amp

  68. Carlene says...

    I approve of this feature! (And the graphics are super great!) Also would love that cord jacket.

  69. Gabrielle says...

    Funny enough – I went to yoga yesterday and in the lobby saw a gal with the cutest coat. I worked off my nerves and asked her to find out where it was from. It was Alex Mill! That was the first time I had heard of the brand and love learning more here.

    Very very into this series. Can’t wait for more! x

    • Hilary says...

      I like this new feature, but can we also have him come back for a longer style related post, please? He’s amazing and I feel so teased getting so little of him!

    • Gabrielle says...

      “…and asked her where it was from”***

      It’s clear that in my excitement, I rushed to press “post a comment” before my flight took off :).

  70. Kate the Great says...

    I’d love to read an interview like this with Billy Collins, (former?) poet laureate. I’m also thinking of my favorite book authors– ooh, how about Eileen and Jerry Spinelli?

    Or children’s book illustrators? Stephen Kellogg? Brian Floca? Mini Grey? Robin Preiss Glasser?

    • mado says...

      Or the current poet laureate, Joy Harjo, or the previous one, Tracy Smith, both amazing! More poets!!

  71. Yes to the new feature! Love it. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Somsack’s favourite things!

  72. emilee says...

    i love this column concept! and i’d love to hear from aminatou sow :))))))

    • Rachel says...

      Second this. I love Aminatou!

  73. Jennifer says...

    Tal Winter from BKR!

  74. andrea cullen says...

    Suggestion – Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen! please and thanks!

    • NPR says...

      second Deb!

    • Liz says...

      Yes!!

    • Lisa says...

      I second this request – I love her writing style and have been making her recipes for years.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love her, too!

  75. Rene S says...

    Suggestions: Roxanne Gay, Maya Erskine, Christina Chaey from Bon Appetit, Jenna Wortham, Kimberly Drew, Rachel Khong, and Alexander Chee :)

  76. Tala says...

    Would love to get the transcript of the meeting in which the number 8 was decided! Ha!

  77. Lauren E. says...

    I love this idea!! I’m drooling over that blazer.

    • Claire says...

      Suggestion—your aunt Lulu! (Hers was my all-time favorite beauty uniform!)

  78. AN says...

    OMG, I’m in mad love with Alex Mill (had not heard of it before now!). Also, please consider these 8 humans for this column: Karla Welch, Cleo Wade, Mirna Valerio, Indya Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Lisa Congdon, Amy Nelson of The Riveter, and of course, Alex Williams!

  79. Abbie says...

    I’d love to hear about favorites from TEACHERS!! (So us parents have a better idea of what to gift them!) Or nurses, or paralegals, or law enforcement officers, stay at home moms. “regular” women whose lives are somewhat less glamorous and/or full of expensive luxury item favorites.

    • Tamara says...

      I’m a teacher (high school-no gifts necessary). Here, based on the favorites featured in the post, are my totally unglamorous, regular woman favorites:
      1. Snack: none, I’ve never been a snacker not even as a kid.
      2. Hotel: the 5 star tent I share with my husband & kids every summer as we camp our way through all our national parks.
      3. Fall clothes: my favorite “Amelia” Toad & Co. dress layered with a long sleeve t, tights, knee boots, and either a scarf or cardigan. Both if it’s particularly nippy.
      4. Movie: Somehow I never get tired of The Goonies.
      5. Book: all time fave: To Kill A Mockingbird, this year’s fave: tie between Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered & her Animal Dreams. Her writing sweeps you into compelling stories based in prescient topics. I felt like I was on the verge of violating copyright for all the quotes I recorded from each book.
      6. Fragrance: I have chemical sensitivity so anything scented is off the table. But I love the smell of citrus, my husband’s skin, and the prairie grass in the Dakotas.
      7. Luggage: my rockport carry on suitcase (because it’s the one I have) in a fun champagne color & my Fossil leather tote for school that is more than five years old but will likely see me through to retirement.
      8. Bathroom product: Humane bha exfoliant/2% salicylic acid-no fragrance, works just as well as Paula’s Choice equivalent but less expensive & no questionable ingredients.

    • Em says...

      Agreed!

    • Maria says...

      This would be refreshing. Hearing from regular women/men would be so relatable.

    • Rachel says...

      Yes! Love this idea. I know the perfect teacher for this. Find Brooke on IG at @trendy_teacherstyle

    • Abby says...

      Second!

    • Theresa says...

      Yes!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      loved this part of your answer, tamara :)

      “Fragrance: I have chemical sensitivity so anything scented is off the table. But I love the smell of citrus, my husband’s skin, and the prairie grass in the Dakotas.”

    • Sasha L says...

      Tamara!! I love your list, so fun.

      I too would love to see a mix of “celebrities” and real, relatable women.

    • shell says...

      I’m a teacher – gifts that I’ve loved are a Starbuck’s coffee in the morning or an iced tea in the afternoon on a hot day. Many teachers are so busy they would love a nice lunch like a nutritious salad or sandwich (that they can eat quickly!) I’m a lower elementary teacher and often my colleagues use their lunch break to prep for a class, call a parent, catch up on email, arrange excursions, etc. so thoughtful gifts that make everyday life easier are very much appreciated. The best gifts I’ve received are thank you notes from the kids–especially the ones they’ve written without parent help!

  80. Kate says...

    Great series idea! I would love to hear from unique authors. Like Margaret Atwood. It would be amazing to hear what someone so unique to imagine up the Handmaids Tale likes in her life.

    • Kate says...

      THIS WOULD BE AMAZING!

  81. Lena says...

    Is there anything more of a bummer than seeing a supercute clothing line recommended and then realizing (sigh) the size range isn’t inclusive at all? C’mon, clothing companies. Bigger bodies want cute clothes too!

    For some favourite things suggestions: Scaachi Koul, Tuesday Bassen, Sydnee McElroy, Sophie Carter-Kahn & April Korto Quioh, Amanda Mull…

  82. Jess says...

    Oh my gosh, love this! Keep them coming!

    • Steph Gilman says...

      Anne Lamott! I know she’s not a fashion icon but she’s my icon and I would love to hear all about her favorite things. :)

    • Just wanted to say that I LOVED seeing Erin’s design work in this post! Would love it if you feature her too :)

  83. TJ says...

    Man, I love a good list.

  84. Holly says...

    I would love love love to see Beatrice Valenzuela on cup of jo, would love to know her beauty uniform. That hair! We need to know more!

    • Lila says...

      YES!

    • liz says...

      yessssssssssssssss. she’s the coolest.

  85. Lisa says...

    I love Alex mill clothes! It is fun to “meet” the designer behind them.

  86. Ooh I’m excited for this new column! I’ve never heard of Alex Mill but I like the look––my husband is starting a new job and desperate for a wardrobe refresh lol (he used to wear all Patagonia stuff when we met). Suggestions…how about Sara Forte from Sprouted Kitchen?!